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Cougars Announce 2018 Squad Numbers

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The Keighley Cougars have today announced the first team squad numbers for the forthcoming 2018 League One season.

In an unprecedented move, Head Coach Craig Lingard stepped back from the squad number allocation process therefore allowing his players to decide the numbers amongst themselves under the watchful eye of Player Performance Manager Frank Levy and Head of Operations Joshua Chapman.

Harry Aaronson has allowed Ritchie Hawkyard to take the number 1 jersey in what will be Titch’s testimonial season with the young full-back opting to take the number 28 jersey with 28 representing Aaronson’s birthday.

Nathan Conroy takes the number 9 jersey following the retirement of James ‘Buster’ Feather making Conroy the first player other than Buster to take the 9 shirt since 2006.

Buster’s successor as captain Josh Tonks has opted to remain in the 18 jersey he wore in 2017 with Player of the Year Matthew Bailey and Man of Steel Brad Nicholson remaining in 19 and 29 respectively.

Hamish Barnes and Adam Ryder take 3 and 4 respecitvely whilst the vacant 10 jersey is taken by Trae O’Sullivan who made his loan move from Batley permanent during the off-season.

Amongst the new signings Benn Hardcastle takes 23, his squad number at previous club Newcastle, with Samir Tahraoui taking the 27 jersey, with 27 representing the Algerian born Prop Forward’s birthday.

The other numbers taken by off-season recruits sees Joe Lumb (14), Ryan Wright (15), Harvey Hallas (16), Cameron Leeming (17), Lewis Fairhurst (20), Liam Senior (22), Aaron Nicholson (26) and Billy Gaylor (30) take the respective jerseys.

Gavin Reed and Aidan Scully move into the 24 and 25 jerseys after making their first team debuts last season with Head Coach Craig Lingard handing both pay as you play deals for the 2018 campaign.

As always, the number 6 jersey remains retired in memory of Danny Jones.


1. Ritchie Hawkyard
Sponsored by Victoria Harrison Podiatry

2. Andy Gabriel
Sponsored by Ultimate Commercial Interiors

3. Hamish Barnes
Sponsored by John Barnes Organ Builders

4. Adam Ryder
Sponsored by A1 Stairlifts

5. Davey Dixon
Sponsored by G Moore & Company

7. Matty Beharrell
Sponsored by Airedale Shopping Centre

8. Scott Law
Sponsored by Bradley, Oliver & Aimee Foulds

9. Nathan Conroy
Sponsored by Mobility Technical Solutions

10. Trae O’Sullivan
Sponsored by KONE plc

11. Josh Lynam
Sponsored by ADNC Projects Ltd

12. Brendon Rawlins
Sponsored by David & Margaret Proctor

13. Mike Emmett
Sponsored by The Hudson Family

14. Joe Lumb
Sponsored by Debs, Robert & Reuben Balm

15. Ryan Wright
Sponsorship Available: Call 01535 606044 or email

16. Harvey Hallas
Sponsored by David Padans

17. Cameron Leeming
Sponsored by Easyhome Mobility

18. Josh Tonks (Captain)
Sponsored by Percy Vear Pub

19. Matthew Bailey
Sponsored by The Fun Bus

20. Lewis Fairhurst
Sponsored by Joshua & Freddie Chapman

21. Emmerson Whittel
Sponsored by A1 Stairlifts

22. Liam Senior
Sponsored by Airedale Shopping Centre

23. Benn Hardcastle
Sponsored by Clever Energy Boilers

24. Gavin Reed
Sponsorship Available: Call 01535 606044 or email

25. Aidan Scully
Sponsorship Available: Call 01535 606044 or email

26. Aaron Nicholson
Sponsorship Available: Call 01535 606044 or email

27. Samir Tahraoui
Sponsored by Spencer Fabrications

28. Harry Aaronson
Sponsored by Phil Robinson

29. Brad Nicholson
Sponsored by Maz & Hazel

30. Billy Gaylor
Sponsorship Available: Call 01535 606044 or email

Keighley Cougars 2018 Fixtures Announced

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The Keighley Cougars can this morning confirm our fixtures for the forthcoming 2018 League One season.

The Cougars campaign gets underway on Sunday 18th February at Cougar Park when Workington Town are our visitors for what will be Leon Pryce’s first game in charge of the Cumbrian outfit.

Following a two week break for the Third Round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup, the Cougars first away fixture sees them head north to Kingston Park to face Jason Payne’s Newcastle Thunder, the side that beat the Cougars into the play-off places on the final day of the 2017 League One Super Eights campaign.

The first of the two mouthwatering local derbies against Bradford Bulls follows the trip to the toon on the 11th March at Cougar Park with the return fixture taking place on 2nd September at the Provident Stadium, Odsal.

Another standout fixture in the Cougars schedule is the trip to London Skolars on Friday 24th August for what is the 2018 Friday Night Lights fixture, a modern Rugby League tradition that sees the Skolars host a festival of Rugby League on the eve of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup Final at Wembley Stadium culmunating in a Skolars league fixture.

The Easter weekend will see Craig Lingard’s side play just the one fixture on Good Friday (Friday 30th March) and that brings a trip to the South Leeds Stadium for a clash with Hunslet RL making it the third consecutive season the two have met over the Easter period.

With the League One Cup no longer being contested, the Cougars will be in league action on both the Magic Weekend and Summer Bash weekends in latter May rather than just the former with a trip to North Wales Crusaders on Magic Weekend being followed by the visit of the London Skolars on the Summer Bash weekend.

The regular season concludes in mid-September with the final away fixture seeing the boys make the longest trip of the season to Llanelli to face the West Wales Raiders on the 16th September with the regular season coming to an end the following weekend on the 23rd September when Mike Grady brings his North Wales Crusaders side to Cougar Park.

2018 League One regular season fixture admission prices will remain the same from the 2017 season meaning matchday prices are as follows:
£15 – Adults
£9 – Concessions (OAPs, Students, Disabled, Armed Forces)
FREE – Under 17’s

The club will confirm the prices of matchday sponsorship packages for League One home fixtures in due course.


Sun 18 FebWorkington TownCougar Park15:00
Sun 4 MarNewcastle ThunderKingston Park15:00
Sun 11 MarBradford BullsCougar Park15:00
Sun 25 MarYork City KnightsBootham Crescent15:00
Fri 30 MarHunslet RLSouth Leeds Stadium14:00
Sun 8 AprHemel StagsCougar Park15:00
Sun 15 AprOldham RoughyedsVestacare Stadium15:00
Sun 29 AprWhitehavenCougar Park15:00
Sun 6 MayCoventry BearsCougar Park15:00
Sun 20 MayNorth Wales CrusadersQueensway Stadium14:30
Sun 27 MayLondon SkolarsCougar Park15:00
Sun 10 JunDoncaster RLKeepmoat Stadium15:00
Sun 17 JunWest Wales RaidersCougar Park15:00
Sun 24 JunYork City KnightsCougar Park15:00
Sun 1 JulWhitehavenRecreation Ground15:00
Sun 8 JulHemel StagsPennine Way14:00
Sun 15 JulOldham RoughyedsCougar Park15:00
Sun 22 JulCoventry BearsButts Park Arena15:00
Sun 29 JulHunslet RLCougar Park15:00
Sun 5 AugWorkington TownDerwent Park15:00
Sun 12 AugNewcastle ThunderCougar Park15:00
Fri 24 AugLondon SkolarsNew River Stadium19:00
Sun 2 SepBradford BullsProvident Stadium15:00
Sun 9 SepDoncaster RLCougar Park15:00
Sun 16 SepWest Wales RaidersStebonheath Park15:00
Sun 23 SepNorth Wales CrusadersCougar Park15:00

Reserves Trials To Take Place Tomorrow Evening

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The Keighley Cougars Reserves open trials are set to take place at Cougar Park tomorrow (Wednesday 15th November) evening.

The trials are open to all players aged 16 and over and will begin at 7pm.

The Cougars Reserves side has produced a number of first team players over the years and last season alone saw three players (Harry Aaronson, Gavin Reed & Aidan Scully) make the step up and debut for the first team.

For more information regarding the trials or to send your CV in order to participate in the trials email either or Player Performance Manager Frank Levy at

Emmerson Whittel Pens New Deal

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Keighley Cougars can this evening announce Emmerson Whittel has put pen to paper on a new two-year deal.

The second-row forward is currently recovering from an ACL injury sustained in July’s record equalling 92-6 home victory over Oxford RL but has now agreed a new deal with the club.

The deal will see Emmerson continue his rehabilitation with the club throughout the 2018 season looking forward to a return to full training and playing in late 2018 or the 2019 season.

Arriving ahead of the 2017 season from the University of Gloucestershire All Golds, Whittel impressive pre-season performances saw him named in Craig Lingard’s first choice seventeen and he scored the winning try on debut against Doncaster RL in the League One Cup.

The following week saw Emmerson sustain a broken jaw in the horrific scenes which marred the Challenge Cup victory away at Fryston Warriors but he would score a try on his return from injury in the League One defeat at home to the Barrow Raiders before making a further 9 appearances prior to sustaining his current injury.

Josh Tonks Appointed New Cougars Captain

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Keighley Cougars can this evening announce the appointment of Josh Tonks as the new first team captain of Keighley Cougars.

26 year old Tonks steps into the void left by his predecessor James ‘Buster’ Feather who retired following the conclusion of the 2017 season to join Craig Lingard’s coaching staff making Josh the club’s first new captain in a decade.

Since arriving to the club in November 2016 following his departure from League One rivals York City Knights the second-row forward has made 20 appearances for the club, crossing the tryline on 7 occassions.

‘Tonka’ has also brought a hard running and aggressive style of play that has seen the back-rower win many plaudits on and off the field for his performances in Red, White and Green to date.

Speaking of the decision to appoint Josh as Captain, Head Coach Craig Lingard said: “With Buster retiring we looked at a select group of players to take over the role of team captain and Josh Tonks stood out as the ideal candidate.

“As a player you need a captain that leads from the front and one that you want standing by you when the going gets tough.

“I know if I were playing and Tonka was stood next to me I’d follow him into battle any day of the week.”



Cougars Secure Samir Tahraoui For Second Spell

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Keighley Cougars are delighted this evening to announce the signing of Samir Tahraoui following his release from the Rochdale Hornets.

The Algerian born Prop returns for a second spell at Cougar Park after spending the second half of the 2015 season on loan at the club from then Championship outfit Bradford Bulls.

During his time with the club two years ago, Samir made 16 appearances and scored 2 tries and played in both the side’s play-off final defeats that year to Oldham and Swinton.

Since departing Cougar Park, Tahraoui has spent two years at Spotland with Rochdale where he played more than his part in the club’s sensational victory against Toulouse Olympique to secured the crown of League One Champions and automatic promotion to the Championship.

Despite a strong start to the 2017 season, the 6’6 forward fell out of favour and moved on loan to League One side York City Knights but didn’t make a single appearance for James Ford’s side after sustaining an injury which required surgery.

During his two years across the Pennines, the strapping forward made a total of 37 appearances for Alan Kilshaw’s side, crossing the line on 10 occassions.

Despite only being 26 years of age, Samir is a man of vast experience after playing outside of the Super League for a number of clubs throughout his career to date.

A former junior with Cheshire amateur club Crosfields and a Great Britain Students international, Tahraoui was on the books at Warrington and St Helens before having a spell in Australian regional rugby with Tweed Heads Seagulls.

He made his senior debut back in Britain with South Wales Scorpions in 2013 and joined Swinton that same year, helping them avoid relegation from the Championship.

Helping the Lions secure survival in the second tier, Tahraoui heaed north to Cumbria and spent a year with Whitehaven as they defeated his former club Swinton on a dramatic final day of the Championship season as Haven and Batley secured surival at the Cougars expense.

After moving to Odsal following the Bulls relegation to the Championship, he would feature in all of the Bulls’ opening eight games of the campaign, scoring a brace in a Challenge Cup victory over Workington, but would then go on to miss two months of action with post-concussion syndrome prior to his loan spell with Keighley and subsequent move to Rochdale.

The Cougars are delighted to welcome Samir back to Cougar Park and are looking forward to seeing him in our colours once more in 2018!

Season Ticket Holders Contact Details Update

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Keighley Cougars are wanting to update information regarding Season Ticket holders for the upcoming season.

The club wants to update all season ticket holders contact details. This will enable us to let you know of events, offers etc. before, during and after the upcoming 2018 League One season.

You can do this by either phoning Cougar Park (01535 606044) on Thursday 9th and Thursday 16th November between 10am and 2pm by speaking to Maz Reape and Hazel Stevens or e-mail and mark the e-mail for the attention of either Maz or Hazel or Head of Operations Joshua Chapman.

All information will be held in the strictest of confidence and not passed on. Season Tickets are still available to purchase for the 2018 season by going online or calling at the ground to see Maz and Hazel on the dates provided.

Cougars Announce O’Neills As New Kit Supplier

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Keighley Cougars are delighted to announce they have teamed up with O’Neills Sportswear as their new kit supplier for the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

O’Neill’s Irish International Sports Company Ltd. was established in 1918 and is the largest manufacturer of sportswear in Ireland and has manufacturing plants in Dublin and Strabane.

The O’Neill’s brand has become synonymous with the production of Team Kits, Footballs and Hurling Balls for Gaelic games but is fast becoming a major supplier to Rugby and Football clubs across Ireland, the UK, Europe, America and Australia.

O’Neills Sportswear Sales Manager and former Cougar, Dave Larder, commented: “We are looking forward to working with the Cougars over the next couple of years and hope the supporters are looking forward to the new range that will be introduced into the club in December.

“This will include new lines that will be introduced throughout the season to fall in line with the Spring and Summer months. I have fond memories of my time as a player at the club and I am looking forward to working with the Cougar faithful once again.

“In addition to some products being stocked down at Cougar Park, O Neill’s will also have several other items which will be made available via the club’s online store at”

Keighley Cougars Chairman Gary Fawcett said: “Given the tremendous problems we had regarding delivery of kit last season, it was imperative that we chose a kit supplier that is renowned for excellent delivery and service.

“O’Neill’s is exactly that so I am expecting that our long suffering fans will now receive the service they deserve. O’Neill’s kit is of the highest quality and, coupled with their excellent service and 2 new very exciting kit designs, we are expecting our fans all be fully attired in 2018 colours very early on in the season!”

For more information about O’Neills Sportswear visit their website here:

Annual Trip To Barrow Confirmed

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It wouldn’t be pre-season without it would it?

The Keighley Cougars can today confirm our annual pre-season friendly away to the Barrow Raiders.

Craig Lingard and his side will make the all to familiar trip north to the J F Hornby Stadium on Sunday 14th January with a 2pm kick-off.

This will mark the seventh consecutive year that the Cougars have played a pre-season fixture at the home of the newly promoted Raiders.

Admission details for this fixture will be confirmed in due course.

Champions Come To Town For Rawlo

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Brendon Rawlins has this morning announced his testimonial game will be against Betfred Super League Champions Leeds Rhinos.

The Rhinos won an unprecedented 8th Super League title earlier this month as they comfortably defeated the Castleford Tigers in front of a full house at Old Trafford in the 2017 Grand Final.

It will not be the first time the Super League Champions have supported Brendon Rawlins Testimonial with the club also supplying four legends for this evening’s ‘A Night With The Leeds Rhinos’ event at Victoria Hall.

Rawlo’s testimonial game will be one of the final events of his testimonial year and will take place at Cougar Park on Sunday 4th February 2018 with a 2pm KO. Admission details for this fixture will be announced in due course.

Keighley Cougars as a club hope that supporters of both clubs will come out in force to #PackThePark and support Rawlo on his big day!

Lights, Cameron, Action As Linners Bags Leeming

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Keighley Cougars can today announce the signing of Cameron Leeming from League One rivals Hunslet RL.

Leeming, a centre who can also play in the back-row if required, arrives at Cougar Park following a single year in South Leeds as he helped Gary Thornton’s side win the League One Shield with victory over the London Skolars in late September.

While with the Hunslet club, Cameron made 18 appearances for the club and in that time crossed the whitewash on 9 occassions.

Prior to arriving at the South Leeds Stadium in late 2016, Leeming began his career in the youth ranks of the Leeds Rhinos after being scouted from amateur outfit Stanningley prior to moving on to Wakefield Trinity in 2012 following the completion of his scholarship at Headingley.

After 4 seasons in the youth development system at Wakefield, the centre headed to pastures new and in 2016 headed down under to Australia to spend a season with the Wyong Roos, one of the feeder clubs to NRL side Sydney Roosters.

During his year with the New South Wales Cup outfit, Leeming was part of the Wyong side which made finished 6th in the competition prior to play-off defeats at the hands of both the Newcastle Knights and Wests Tigers reserve teams. The Roos would however go on to win the Central Coast Division Premiership that season.

The club are delighted to secure the services of Cameron and would like to welcome him to Cougar Park for the 2018 season.

If you would like to sponsor Leeming for the 2018 season, then please follow this link:

Cougars ‘Prop Up The Pack’ With Hallas Addition

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Keighley Cougars are delighted this evening to announce the signing of Harvey Hallas from Betfred Super League side Wakefield Trinity.

A fully signed member of the front-row club, sporting the long beard that has become the trademark of Prop forwards at the highest level, Hallas arrives to Cougar Park following a sole season with the Trinity Under 19’s side where he played alongside fellow new Cougars signing Liam Senior.

Highly sought after Harvey joined Wakefield for the 2017 season, choosing them over 3 other Super League sides, after departing the Leeds Rhinos following the conclusion of the 2016 campaign in order to seek the challenge of a new environment to take him to the next level.

Originally a back-rower before being converted into the Prop, the 19 year old was a pupil at Temple Moor where he played for their rugby side and went on to feature in three national schools finals.

Prior to joining the Rhinos, Hallas played for the youth sides of amateur sides Normanton Knights and Oulton Raiders as well as for Yorkshire and the Leeds Service Area teams.

While with Oulton he was a part of a highly successful Under-12’s side which lifted the Yorkshire Cup, Challenge Cup and War of the Roses trophies and was picked up for the scholarship programme at Headingley aged 15.

The Cougars are delighted to secure Harvey’s services for the 2018 season and look forward to seeing him in action at Cougar Park next year.

If you would be interested in sponsoring Hallas for 2018, please follow this link:


2018 Player Sponsorships Still Available

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With Craig Lingard’s 2018 first team squad now up to 25 players, the Keighley Cougars can announce that there are still a number of 2018 player sponsorships available to purchase.

Priced at £300 (+VAT) for the 2018 season, sponsorsing a member of the first team squad entitles you to:
. Your name or business being listed next to your chosen player on the club website and in every matchday programme
. Your chosen players 2018 playing jersey
. Your name or business announced over the PA system at Cougar Park whenver your player plays or scores at home matches
. An invite to 2018 Shirt Presentation Night and an invite to the 2018 Player Of The Year Awards
. Signed 2018 Player Headshot from your chosen player
. Right to use sponsorship in company marketing and promotions

A number of 2018 player sponsorships have already been purchased ahead of next season meaning at this current moment, the players available to sponsor for next season are:
. Nathan Conroy
. Lewis Fairhurst
. Billy Gaylor
. Harvey Hallas
. Cameron Leeming
. Aaron Nicholson
. Gavin Reed
. Aidan Scully
. Ryan Wright

The following players have already been sponsored ahead of 2018 and we would like to thank the sponsors who are as follows:
. Harry Aaronson – Phil Robinson
. Matthew Bailey – The Fun Bus
. Hamish Barnes – John Barnes Organ Builders
. Matty Beharrell – Airedale Shopping Centre
. Davey Dixon – G Moore & Company
. Mike Emmett – The Hudson Family
. Andy Gabriel – Ultimate Commercial Interiors
. Benn Hardcastle – Clever Energy Boilers
. Ritchie Hawkyard – Victoria Harrison Podiatry
. Scott Law – Bradley, Oliver & Aimee Foulds
. Joe Lumb – Debs, Robert & Ruebern Balm
. Josh Lynam – ADNC Projects Ltd
. Brad Nicholson – Maz & Hazel
. Trae O’Sullivan – KONE Escalators
. Brendon Rawlins – David & Margaret Proctor
. Adam Ryder – A1 Stairlifts
. Liam Senior – Airedale Shopping Centre
. Josh Tonks – Percy Vear Pub

The club would also like to put on record it’s thanks and appreciation to supporters and sponsors who have sponsored players throughout the 2017 season and have already sponsored players ahead of the 2018 season.

If you would also be interested in sponsoring members of our coaching staff as well as players for next season, then please do not hestiate to contact the club by emailing Gary Fawcett at or Joshua Chapman at

The following members of the coaching staff are still available to sponsor:
. Craig Lingard
. Nathan Graham
. Rikki Sheriffe
. Liam Bowness

Prices vary for members of the Coaching Staff with Linners and Grash priced at £200 while Rikki Sheriffe and Liam Bowness are available at £100.

You can also purchase player sponsorships online by following this link:

Batley To Visit In Pre-Season

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Keighley Cougars can today announce the confirmation of our first pre-season friendly ahead of the 2018 season.

Kingstone Press Championship outfit Batley Bulldogs, coached by former Leeds and Bradford hooker Matt Diskin, will visit Cougar Park on Sunday 21st January. (2pm KO)

This friendly was originally arranged ahead of the 2017 season when following the appointment of Craig Lingard as Head Coach, the two clubs agreed to play friendlies ahead of both the 2017 and 2018 season with both sides hosting one each.

The Bulldogs hosted the first of these two friendlies in January when they defeated the Cougars 38-12 in front of 725 spectators at the Fox’s Biscuits Stadium.

The game will mark Batley’s first visit to Cougar Park since July 2014 when a try at the death from Miles Greenwood saw the Bulldogs snatch a 24-28 victory.

Admission prices for this friendly will be £10 for Adults, £5 for Concessions and £1 for Juniors.

Billy Gaylor Arrives At Cougar Park

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Keighley Cougars can this evening announce the signing of Billy Gaylor from the Coventry Bears.

Gaylor can play either at hooker or in the halves, joins from Coventry Bears where he missed only 2 games during the 2017 season and picked up the Bears’ Young Player of the Year award while also earning a nomination for the Coaches Player of the Year accolade.

Currently in his 3rd year of a Sports Exercise Science Degree at Leeds Trinity University, Billy was a late arrival to Rugby League only starting to play at the age of 13 with Halifax based amateur outfit Siddal and would go on to win the Coach’s Player of the Year having been part of a BARLA Yorkshire Cup winning squad.

Having being scouted by both the Bradford Bulls and Sheffield Eagles, the versatile Gaylor opted to sign for Halifax RL ahead of the 2016 season and in his sole year at The Shay would cpatain the Yorkshire College side to success and was subsequently selected to play for the English Universities side later that year.

2016 also saw Billy earn League One experience on dual-registration with the South Wales Scorpions before earning international recognition with the Scotland Under-19’s side as he picked up 3 caps for the Bravehearts against a Cumbria Select, Ireland and the England Lionhearts made up of selected amateur players by BARLA.

Head Coach Craig Lingard said of Gaylor’s arrival: “He knows there’s competition for places but he’s backing himself to get into the team.

“With us already having Nathan Conroy, Joe Lumb and Ryan Wright at hooker along with Matty Beharrell, Benn Hardcastle and Lewis Fairhurst in the halves, there’s real competition for places in those key areas.

“But if someone comes to you with the confidence that they believe they’ll get in the team then you’ve got to give them the opportunity to show you they can do that.

“I’d also like to thank the supporters for being patient with us this off-season, we are close to finalising deals for a couple of Props and hope to announce them soon.”

The club would like to welcome Billy to Cougar Park and look forward to seeing him in action for the club in 2018.

If you would like to sponsor Billy Gaylor for the 2018 season, please follow this link:

Cougars Bag Top Prospect Liam Senior

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Keighley Cougars can this evening announce the signing of Liam Senior from Betfred Super League side Wakefield Trinity.

A second-row forward who can also play in the centres, Liam has been an integral part of the Trinity’s Under-19’s side for the past two seasons and even earned a place in Chris Chester’s 19 man squad for a Super League fixture against Wigan in 2016.

His performances for the side that season saw Senior crowned the Wakefield Trinity Senior Academy Man of Steel for the 2016 season.

Even though it was a game in which he didn’t feature, Senior would go on to make his senior debut for the Belle Vue club in a pre-season friendly against Dewsbury in January this season.

Senior does have senior experience at a higher level having made two appearances for the Dewsbury Rams in the Kingstone Press Championship during the 2017 season on dual-registration terms featuring in both the club’s easter period fixtures as they defeated the Batley Bulldogs before losing to the Sheffield Eagles.

Head Coach Craig Lingard has confirmed that Liam was offered a first team deal at the Beaumont Legal Stadium for the 2018 season however turned it down to focus on his studies as he is attending University to earn a work place degree.

The club are delighted to welcome the Liam to Cougar Park and look forward to seeing him play next season.

If you would be interested in sponsoring the back-row forward for the 2018 season, follow this link:

Cougars Announce 2017 Departures

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Keighley Cougars can today announce the full list of departures from the 2017 First Team squad.

Danny Lawton will not be offered a new deal by the club bringing to an end 7 years of service for Danny at Cougar Park in which time he made 118 appearances, scoring 576 points as well as being a part of the 2011 Championship One Play-Offs and 2016 iPro Sport Cup winning sides.

Adam Brook will also depart Cougar Park after two and a half years with the club after initially joining on loan in May 2015 from the Bradford Bulls before making his move permanent at the end of that same year. ‘Brooky’ made 44 appearances for the Cougars, scoring 183 points and was a member of the 2016 iPro Sport Cup winning team.

Homegrown talent Sean Kelly is also among those leaving the Cougars, Sean was a part of the club’s scholarship and reserves programmes in the past before making his first team debut in 2013 and despite suffering an ACL injury in May 2015 that ruled him out of action for 20 months, he still made 19 appearances, scoring 6 tries.

A product of the clubs Reserves programme, Liam Darville leaves on the back of five years within the ranks in which he scored 9 tries in 22 appearances for the first team and picking up an iPro Sport Cup Winners Medal in 2016 after playing the full 80 minutes at stand-off in Blackpool.

Another product of the Reserves, Josh Casey leaves Cougar Park after making just the sole senior appearance against Toronto in March and having spent the majority of the 2017 season on loan at the Hemel Stags.

The club has at this time delayed the decision on the future of Emmerson Whittel as the length of the lay-off for the back-rowers ACL injury sustained in July’s victory over Oxford RL has yet to be officially determined.

Reserves Player of the Year Kieran Smith has departed Cougar Park to join Kingstone Press League One rivals Hemel Stags, as confirmed by the club yesterday, while the previous years Reserves Player of the Year Lewis Davey has left the club following the expiration of his deal and joined amateur outfit Gateshead Storm.

James Pickering suffered a season ending ACL injury in the Reserves victory over the South Wales Ironmen in June and despite not being offered a deal for the 2018 season, Head Coach Craig Lingard has confirmed that ‘Pickers’ will be welcomed to continue his rehabilitation from injury with the club’s medical staff.

As confirmed prior to the end of the past season the trio of Club Captain James ‘Buster’ FeatherNeil Cherryholme and Ben Sagar have all made the decision to hang up their boots and retire from the game.

Also confirmed before the end of the season was the departures of Vinny FiniganWill Milner and Callum Dunne.

Vinny left the club by mutual consent in August while Milner and Dunne have since joined Huddersfield Rugby Union and King’s Cross Park ARL in Halifax respectively since leaving Cougar Park.

Keighley Cougars would like to place on record our thanks to all the departing players for their time and service to the club and wish all the very best in their next moves and future endeavors.

Kieran Smith Leaves For Hemel

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As confirmed at Friday evening’s Presentation Night, Kieran Smith has departed Cougar Park to join League One rivals Hemel Stags.

The half-back has opted to join the Stags as the Hemel Hempstead based side has moved it’s operations and training base to Sheffield where Smith lives and works and also attends Sheffield Hallam University.

Smith, who was crowned Reserve Player of the Year on Friday evening, departs for Pennine Way after a sole season in the club’s reserves programme in which he made 3 competitive appearances as well as playing in a number of friendly matches.

Kieran also spent a month in Australia in which he participated in the England Universities side at July’s Student World Cup in which he helped England reach the semi-finals where they were defeated by the hosts and eventual winners.

The club would like to thank Kieran for his dedication and service to the reserves in 2017 and wish him the best in his new adventure.

Back-To-Back For Bails At Presentation Evening

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Matthew Bailey made it back-to-back Player of the Year awards as he took the 2017 accolade to add to his 2016 award on the back of another great season on the field.

Bails also took the Player’s Player of the Year award while Brad Nicholson took the A1 Stairlifts Man of Steel award as the Coach’s Player of the Year.

James ‘Buster’ Feather was awarded the Clubman of the Year award following his retirement from the game after 15 years of loyal service to the Cougars which saw him make over 300 appearances for the club.

Ritchie Hawkyard’s sensational return from injury in the second half of the season saw ‘Titch’ take the Supporter’s Player of the Year crown for a second consecutive season and be crowned the Media Player of the Year.

Harry Aaronson’s superb debut season with the club since joining from Swinton saw him awarded with both the Rising Star award from the club and the Fun Bus Rising Star award from the supporters. Aaronson also won the Try of the Year award for his efforts against London Skolars in June and Barrow Raiders in May.

Matty Beharrell was crowned the Fun Bus Player of the Year with Andy Gabriel taking top tryscorer with his 20 four pointers for the season, two more than closest challenger Adam Ryder.

In the Reserves, England Students international Kieran Smith was crowned Player of the Year as he departs the club to join League One rivals Hemel Stags.

York based Prop Ryan Price was crowned the Player’s Player by his peers with homegrown forward Jak Adams the recipent on the Wilson Memorial Trophy.

Mansfield born Scottish Student international hooker Luke Walters was awarded the Clubman accolade with Bradley Clarkson the rising star.

Callum McGrath of the Development Squad took the Jeremy Crowther Worthers Original Award.

And on a lighter note, Head Coach Craig Lingard took two ‘awards’ home himself after being awarded the Rear of the Year and the Cougar Mike Wine Gum awards.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Matthew Bailey
CLUBMAN OF THE YEAR: James ‘Buster’ Feather
RISING STAR: Harry Aaronson
TRY OF THE YEAR: Harry Aaronson v Barrow Raiders (10/5/17); Harry Aaronson v London Skolars (18/6/17)

Cougars Land Lewis Fairhurst

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Keighley Cougars can this evening announce the arrival of Lewis Fairhurst from Kingstone Press Championship side Dewsbury Rams.

Fairhurst, a utility back, arrives at Cougar Park following a 2017 season in which he featured on a number of occassions for both the Rams and on dual registration in League One for the Hemel Stags.

During his time at the Tetley’s Stadium, Lewis cemented his place in Rams folklore with the winning golden point derby day drop goal in a victory over the Batley Bulldogs first in the Fourth Round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup as well as kicking another one pointer in a 64-11 Championship defeat to the Hull Kingston Rovers.

As well as making 6 appearances for the Rams which included a sole try alongside his 2 drop goal attempts, Fairhurst also scored 6 tries and converted 11 goals in 15 appearances for the Hemel Stags in a season which saw play in the numerous positions for both clubs which included in the halves, at hooker, on the wing, at full-back and even off the interchanges bench.

The current Edge Hill University student is a native of Bickershaw near Wigan and began his Rugby League career aged six at the Hindley amateur club in which time he won the North West Challenge Shield, when they beat West Bank, 28-18, in the final.

On a personal front, his contribution to the team’s effort was often noted by his achieving Top Tackler Award, though when they progressed to U14 level he was recognised, for the first of three consecutive seasons, as Player of the Year and these accomplishments saw Fairhurst picked up by St Helens at the age of 14.

Following his departure from Langtree Park, Lewis joined the Salford Red Devils despite interest from many clubs for the 2016 season and spent a year at the AJ Bell Stadium in the Under 19’s squad before departing to join the Dewsbury Rams after the Red Devils made the decision to scrap the side in a cost-cutting move ahead of the 2017 season.

The Cougars are delighted to secure the services of the versatile youngster for 2018 and are delgithed to welcome Fairhurst to Cougar Park.

If you would be interested in sponsoring Lewis for the 2018 season, please follow this link:


Aaron Nicholson Re-Joins The Cougars

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Keighley Cougars can today announce Aaron Nicholson has re-joined the club for a second spell from Oxford RL.

Nicholson, who can play either in the front row or second row returns to Cougar Park eighteen months after departing the club, initially on loan, after previously coming through the ranks as a part of the scholarship and reserves programmes while also spending a period with Super League club Huddersfield Giants.

A member of the first team squad in 2015 and 2016, Aaron never made a senior appearance for the club but was an ever-present for both Dean Muir and Scott Lindsey in the reserves team prior to joining Oxford on loan in May 2016.

His performances on loan with Tim Rumford’s side saw him opt to make his move to the ‘Blue Army’ a permanent one for 2017 a season in which Nicholson made 10 appearances as Oxford reached the League One Cup semi-finals as well as picking up memorable victories over York City Knights and Hunslet RL.

Following the conclusion of this current season, Aaron has been continuing to play in the Pennine League with Greetland All Blacks.

The club are delighted to welcome Aaron back to the club and will be making more announcements over the coming days in regards to new signings.

If you would like to sponsor Aaron for 2018, please follow this link:

Clarification Regarding Presentation Night

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There has been some commentary about the presentation night due to the dining option upstairs prior to the presentations themselves.

The club decided to offer dining as the players requested it to improve the event.

Taking this into account we decided to charge only £20 for a 3 course meal so that it would allow the maximum number of people to attend.  However, being aware that some people may not wish to dine the club decided to open the Hall of Fame bar at 8.30pm to allow people to arrive in readiness for going upstairs just prior to the presentations starting.  This is in order that the diners can dine upstairs without the room being too full.

The decisions above were made to genuinely try and accommodate the maximum number of people and their individual needs.  Having discussed it further we will now run the Q&A from 9.30pm to enable everyone to participate in this.

So the revised running order for the presentation night is:

– Diners arrival at 19:30
– Three Course Meal from 19:45 in the Executive Bar
– Clever Energy Boilers Hall of Fame bar to be open from 20:30 for those not wishing to dine
– From 9.30pm Q&A with coaching staff and senior players in the Executive Suite.  Non diners will be welcome to the Executive Suite from this point
– Presentation to commence from 21:50
– Entertainment from 22:50 in the Executive Suite

To book your place for the meal, follow this link: